Wednesday, January 06, 2010


Browsing the 1891 Census I was surprised to discover that a majority of the Talgarth born population of the town aged over 30 were able to speak Welsh. Look at the wider parish and there must have been bilingual natives of the district who spoke the language - presumably the historic dialects of the place - well into the Twentieth Century. I suppose most people will shrug their shoulders at this, but it left me a little bit amazed. Of course big Victorian families being raised as monoglot English speakers put paid to any chance of bilingualism persisting.

Looking at wikipedia I see that "Talgarth is also becoming a place for artists and writers." Oh well.


Alan said...

Look at the 1901 Census of Talgarth (District 7 Hamlet of Forest)(To the south east of Talgarth Town)because it is unbelievably Welsh. The majority of the peole residing there are both Welsh and English speakers and, what's more, they are handing it down to their children. Take the Castle Inn, Pengenffordd, for example. The seven children, aged between 17 and 4, of David Jones 50 and his wife, Mary can speak both languages and suggests strongly a Welsh speaking household. . This also suggests that the Welsh in this part of Talgarth survived well into the 1960s and beyond.

old radnor said...

Indeed. And what is so annoying is that academic after academic recites the same old story that these areas of East Breconshire have been English speaking for centuries.

It's as if they've betrayed these folk by not bothering to check out the facts.